may want to come up with a percentage
amount that goes back into the business
and a percentage that goes to the child.
Here are just a few ideas you can use
for your own children who want to run
Vending machines: Does your church
or place of business have a vending machine your children could borrow and
take over for a few months? If not, you
could always make the investment and
buy a small vending machine if you have
a permanent place to put it for a more
long-term business project.
Arts and crafts: Do you have a crafty
child? Find out where and when there
are some craft fairs in your area where
your child could sell some of his or her
products. I know one homeschooling
family in which the girls made purses
and sold them at a craft fair. They ran out
of product because it was so well liked.
They made a good amount of money in
just one weekend. Don’t leave out the
boys. If your son enjoys woodworking,
this could be a great opportunity for him
as well. You could also sell items on Etsy
or another similar craft-selling site. These
places usually charge low fees for selling.
Book publishing: Do you have a child
that loves to write? Help them develop a
book, whether a full-length book or a picture book, print it, and sell it to friends,
family members, or online. You could
also upload E-Books to sell on Amazon
or Barnes & Noble.
Lawn care: The summer months are
great times for young people to pick up
some business. Many people are look-
ing for help with lawn care and yard
work. Make up business cards, pass them
around the neighborhood, and drum up
Babysitting: Babysitting is an option,
especially for those who don’t have a ton
of time to invest in a business. Again,
your teen could make up business cards
and hand them out to parents (they
know) of young children. It might also be
a good idea to check your local resources
for babysitting classes to help prepare
your teen for the job. Often these courses
are offered online. (Of course, this would
be a business expense.)
Pet sitting/dog walking: This is another great summer business that might
blossom into year- round work. There is
hardly any investment, except for maybe
the business cards to pass around to people you know.
If you want to go a little deeper into
business with your kids, especially the
older ones, you could teach them about
business plans (what is the purpose of the
company? What do they hope to accom-
plish?), marketing (how are they going to
get the word out?), budgeting (how much
money do they plan to spend on materi-
als, marketing, etc.?), or market research
(are their ideas worth trying to sell?).
One thing to keep in mind while
your children are running their businesses: they will probably not become
independently wealthy just yet! On the
other hand, depending on the quality of
their product and how much effort they
put into it, they could earn themselves
a good amount, at least in their minds.
Make sure that the business they choose
to start is age appropriate, as not all businesses are suitable for all ages. You want
them to do as much of the work as possible, not just come up with the idea and
leave you to do all the work.
On a side note, as with all business ventures, you must check with your locality
to see about taxes and business licenses.
The requirements may vary from region
to region. Also, there is no age limit to
paying taxes. If a child earns money, they
may have to pay taxes on it. But, this just
gives you one more aspect of entrepreneurship that you can teach your child!
Ruth O’Neil, born and raised in upstate
New York, attended Houghton College.
She has been a freelance writer for more
than twenty years, publishing hundreds of
articles in dozens of publications. You can
visit her at http://ruths-real-life.blogspot
.com/. Ruth spends her spare time quilting, scrapbooking, and camping with her
You want them to do
as much of the work
as possible, not just
come up with the
idea and leave you to
do all the work.